FAQ

Thanks for your interest in SolSpark Chocolate Shot. Below are a number of commonly asked questions. To make it easier to navigate, we've divided them into a few categories:

  • Preparation
  • Storage
  • Contents
  • Other

If you have further questions, please contact us.

Preparation

  1. The hot water instructions say, “near-boiling” water. What does this mean? When you do the hot water method, the hotter the water you use, the better the results. So boil the water and then put it right in. That said, the instructions say, “near-boiling” because as long as the water is close to boiling, it will work well.
  2. Is it really only 10 seconds in the microwave? That doesn’t seem long enough. Yes, it only takes 10 seconds in the microwave. You’re only heating up a very small amount of water (2 TBS, which is just one ounce). You could do a second or two longer if you want it hotter, but at around 15 second in the microwave (1100 Watt), the temperature will get too hot and the chocolate could develop an over-roasted or burned taste. (Cocoa naturally burns at a fairly low temperature.) Of course, all microwaves are different, so feel free to experiment by trying it a second or two longer or shorter and see what you prefer best.
  3. Why do the instructions say “DO NOT MIX” before heating for the microwave method? Wouldn’t mixing it help it cook more evenly? It is important to not mix the water and the mixture before microwaving. Doing so suspends the chocolate in the water and as the water heats up, the chocolate will heat much faster and overcook, resulting in an unpleasant burnt taste. (Cocoa naturally burns at a fairly low temperature.) By not mixing, you keep the water and the chocolate separate and you essentially replicate the boiling water method: the microwave doesn’t heat up the dry chocolate mixture much, but it brings the water close to a boil. Then you can mix the hot water with the chocolate mixture.
  4. How hot is the drink? Do I need to wait for it to cool? Can I drink it in the summer? Since there is a lot of chocolate mixture compared to hot water, the temperature of the drink cools down rapidly as you mix it. When fully mixed, the boiling water version is slightly over 120 degrees F and the microwave method is slightly under 120 degree F. This is a warm but not too hot temperature that can be enjoyed immediately. As such, it can be enjoyed all year in all weather conditions. 
  5. What if the chocolate doesn’t dissolve fully? With proper preparation, the chocolate should fully dissolve. Occasionally, it might take a bit more stirring, but as noted in the previous question, when fully mixed the drink is around 120 degrees F, which is more than enough to melt chocolate. If you were interrupted while preparing the drink and it has cooled down significantly before you’ve fully mixed it, you could try microwaving for 2-3 seconds at a time to heat it up slowly. Reheating a partially mixed drink for a full ten seconds will likely result in overcooking the chocolate and an unpleasant burnt flavor. (Cocoa naturally burns at a fairly low temperature.)
  6. I opened my cup and the product looks like it may have melted or has clumped or hardened. Is it still ok to eat? Yes! Real chocolate (especially courverture chocolate) melts in hot conditions. The cocoa butter in the chocolate and the cocoa powder can melt when the product gets too warm, and then as it cools it hardens again and can cause clumping or hardening of the mixture. Very high humidity can also cause the banana powder to clump or harden the mixture. The product is still safe to eat. Preparation of the product is the same, though sometimes it might take slightly more stirring to ensure everything melts. The taste should also be unaffected, though if the product has encountered exceptionally high heat or has been kept at high heat for an exceptionally extended time, the coffee notes may become much more pronounced.
  7. Can I make it in a glass or other cup instead of the paper cup? Yes! You can dump the dry contents of the cup into another container and prepare the drink in the other container. However, please note that the size, shape, and material of the container impact the heat retention and thus how quickly the drink cools. The drink will have different flavor notes and textures at different temperatures (cooler temperatures tend to have thicker textures and be a bit more fruity). So your choice of container will impact the final product. Due to the heat retention variable, proper microwave times would likely differ from using the provided paper cup. If you are using an alternative container, we would strongly recommend the boiling water method instead of the microwave method. 
  8. Can I make it with other hot liquids (milk, milk alternative, coffee) instead of water? Yes! The drink has been optimized to be made with water to balance all the flavors, and we strongly recommend you try it as intended first. But we’ve found that people love experimenting with the product and trying it in different ways, and we encourage you to do so! Naturally, using different liquids will change the flavor. For example, using milk will make it creamier but less chocolatey, while using coffee or espresso will give it more of a boost but make it more bitter.
  9. Can I add more water to make it more? Can I add less water to make it thicker? The drink has been optimized for 2 tablespoons of water, and the microwave directions have been formulated for 2 tablespoons of water. We strongly recommend you try it with 2 tablespoons of water first. But we’ve found that people love experimenting with the product and trying it in different ways, and we encourage you to do so! Adding more water (or other liquid) will thin the product out in both texture and flavor and make it much closer to a hot chocolate or a mocha in consistency and taste. Reducing the liquid will thicken and intensify it (though at some point it may not fully melt). If you change the water quantity, we strongly suggest using the boiling water method, as microwave instructions will no longer apply.
  10. After making it, can I refrigerate it or refrigerate and reheat it? Yes, you can refrigerate it after preparing it. If you consume it cold straight from the fridge, the flavor will be right, but the texture will be a bit grainy. You can also reheat it in an 1100 W microwave for 10 seconds. (Timing is imprecise, and will depend on your microwave and whether you've already consumed some of it.) It will be warm but not quite as hot as it typically is. The texture will be good: thick, rich, and smooth, but the flavor won't be quite as bright: it will have a more flat chocolate flavor.

Storage

    1. How do I store it? All the ingredients in the mixture do best when stored in a cool, dry place. This typically means a dark pantry away from heat and humidity. Storing it in a car with highly fluctuating temperatures or on a hot sunny windowsill will degrade the product more quickly. Relatedly, please ensure that after you’ve ordered the product, someone will be able to place it in a cool, dry place after it arrives. You don’t want it sitting outside in hot or wet weather for many days.
    2. Can I store it in the fridge or freezer? Yes, you can store it in a fridge or freezer. You can make it directly from a fridge according to the package instructions. If you’ve stored it in a freezer, please allow it to come to room temperature before preparing.
    3. How long does it last? The best buy date is stamped on the bottom of the package.  

      Contents

        1. Can you describe what the contents look like? The packaging is a paper cup with a paper lid. After removing the paper lid, there is a clear plastic film that seals the cup. After removing the clear plastic film, you’ll see a mixture of chocolate chips and a brown powder mixture. Even though over half the weight is chips, it will look mostly like powder with a few chips, since the chips are far denser than the powder.
        2. What is couverture chocolate? "Couverture" is a special high-end class of chocolate. It is ground to a finer texture and contains extra cocoa butter for a luxurious mouthfeel. Couverture is the chocolate of choice for premier chocolatiers.
        3. Is this dark chocolate? Is this milk chocolate? What percentage cocoa is it? There is no legal definition of dark chocolate, but ‘dark chocolate’ typically refers to chocolate with 50% cocoa or higher. The chocolate used in the product is 54% cocoa, and the cocoa powder is naturally 100% cocoa, so both chocolate ingredients can be considered 'dark chocolate'. The entire drink mix including all the ingredients is a little more than 45% cocoa. The FDA requires that 'milk chocolate' contain at least 3.39 percent milkfat by weight and at least 12 percent milk solids by weight. So although the drink mix contains a little skim milk powder, since the amount of this is relatively low and it contains no milkfat, the drink mix is not milk chocolate.
        4. What allergens does it have? Milk and Soy. The milk comes from skim milk powder. The soy comes from the soy lecithin in the chocolate.
        5. How much caffeine is in it? Is that a lot of caffeine? The drink contains 62 mg of caffeine per serving. For comparison, a cup of green tea typically contains around 30 mg, a cup of black tea around 45 mg, a shot of espresso around 60 mg, and a cup of coffee around 95 mg.
        6. Does it taste like banana? No, the drink only contains enough banana to slightly thicken the texture and add a touch of fruitiness. There is no banana flavor.
        7. Can I take it through TSA on an airplane? Yes! The cup contains just chocolate pieces and dry powder. It doesn’t have any liquid. 

          Other

            1. Where is it made? It’s assembled in the USA from imported ingredients. We source our premium ingredients from around the world. For example, the chocolate is from Belgium, the cocoa powder from the Netherlands, and the salt is from France. These ingredients are then blended and packaged in the United States.
            2. Who are you? Please see the about us page.
            3. Why is it in a cup? Can I buy it in a pouch or a tin with a scoop? The drink is packaged in a cup instead of a pouch or tin with a scoop for two primary reasons. First, it’s far more convenient. You can microwave it very quickly, and you don’t have a dirty glass or mug to deal with at the end. Second, it ensures a consistent experience. The size, shape, and material of the container impact the heat retention and how quickly the drink cools. The drink’s texture and flavor change at different temperatures. (Cooler temperatures tend to have thicker textures and be a bit more fruity). So standardizing the cup creates a consistent experience. So right now, it’s only available in a cup.
            4. Is this hot chocolate? No, this is not hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is for sipping on a cold day to relax. The natural caffeine boost from espresso makes this the perfect pick-me-up anytime you need it.
            5. Is this mocha? No, this is not mocha. Mocha is a coffee drink with a whiff of chocolate flavor. This drink was specifically crafted for maximum chocolate punch. Starting with a base of premium Belgian chocolate chips, every ingredient intensifies and enlivens the chocolate flavor.
            6. Where can I buy it? Currently, the drink is available at SolSparkChocolateShot.com. You can buy it here. It's also available on Amazon here. We will have a brand page on Amazon once the US Trademark Office approves our trademark application.
            7. Can I pour it over ice cream? Yes! This drink has inspired many people to experiment with many different ways they could enjoy it. We encourage you to try your own experiments!